A complete game shutout by Colony’s Damon Hammer gave the Knights a 9-0 victory over Kenai Central at Coral Seymour Memorial Park on Thursday night to put the Knights into the Southcentral Conference championship game Friday against rival Wasilla.
The Knights and Warriors play at 7 p.m. tonight at Seymour Park in a game that will be heard on 1140 AM and radiokenai.com. Kenai faces the Houston-Homer winner at 3 p.m. today at Seymour Park in the second-place bracket. The second-place game, Saturday at 1 p.m. at Seymour Park, also will be on 1140 AM. The game determines the other conference state berth.
A six-run third inning by the Knights gave them a 6-0 lead despite only having one hit in the inning. The Knights had the bases juiced with no outs when junior Kenai pitcher Ethan Oliver hit Colony’s Ben Ross to score Hammer from third. Kenai head coach John Kennedy said the third inning was tough to bounce back from.
“The frustrating thing is that they scored six runs and basically one hit,” Kennedy said. “We started off with an error and then we walked a guy and hit two guys and walked another guy.
“Our own mistakes created that problem.”
The lone Colony hit in the third came on a Jonathon Boyer single to right, where it rolled under Kardinals sophomore right fielder Dallas Pierran to score A.C. Schmur on an RBI and Jacob Butcher on the error. The error would send Boyer to third, where he would be stranded.
“We put runs up but it wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure,” Colony head coach Jordan Chadwell said. “I give credit to the boys, they were patient. They didn’t try to do too much. But as a coach I can always be critical and looking for more.”
Oliver gave up a total of five runs on two hits while walking five batters and having two wild pitches. Oliver, who was pulled in the third inning with the bases loaded and no outs, was followed by sophomore Miles Jones, who gave up one hit, three walks and one earned run. The rest of the runs in the third were credited to Oliver.
Jones was followed by senior Johnny Wilson, who gave up three runs, two hits and two walks.
“Ethan I thought did an all right job, but he got himself thinking too much about what was going on and it was difficult for him,” Kennedy said. “The rest of the guys came in and tried to throw strikes, it was difficult. They had a hard time finding the zone.”
Colony’s Hammer threw seven strikeouts, five of them looking, in his complete game.
“It feels good, it was my first one, I was just hitting my spots, keeping it low and letting my defense help me out out there,” Hammer said.
After the third, the only other scoring was done by the Knights on a three-run triple by Butcher to left that brought in Ben Ross, Schmur and Matt Palmer.
Colony 9, Kenai 0
Oliver, Jones (3), Wilson (5) and Mese; Hammer and McJimsey. W — Hammer. L — Oliver. 3B — Colony: Butcher. LOB — Colony 10, Kenai 6.
Kenai 10, Palmer 0, 5 innings
AJ Hull pitched a no-hitter at Seymour Park on Thursday afternoon as the Kardinals cruised into the semifinals.
Palmer will play Kodiak in the second-place bracket at 10 a.m. today at Seymour Park.
Hull only walked one batter. The Moose also reached base a few times on errors.
Hull also went 2 for 2 on offense, walking twice. He tripled, doubled and had two runs and two RBIs.
Hector Rivera was 3 for 4 with two runs, an RBI and four stolen bases, while Johnny Wilson was 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs, and Robert Cockrell was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI.
Colony 7, Kodiak 2
The Knights moved into the semifinals by defeating the defending conference champion Bears at the Kenai Little League fields.
Kodiak will play Palmer in the second-place bracket at 10 a.m. today at Seymour Park.